Are Google and Samsung frenemies now? After years of litigation over mobile technology patents, it appears as though the tech giants have finally made peace. The companies announced today a decade-long cross-licensing agreement that covers existing patents and those that may be filed in the future.
“With this agreement, Samsung and Google gain access to each other’s industry-leading patent portfolios, paving the way for deeper collaboration on research and development of current and future products and technologies,” Samsung said in a statement.
Both companies have tens of thousands of patents, however, the statement does not specify which ones are covered under the agreement.
Two years ago, Samsung agreed to pay Microsoft royalties and collaborate on the development of Microsoft-based phones in order to avoid going to court over violating its patents. At the time, the agreement was seen as a setback to Google which had been attempting to establish itself as the standard in mobile operating systems by giving its Android software to smartphone and tablet makers for free.
The deal with Google comes at a rough patch for Samsung, which could be strategically aligning itself as it continues to fight a major dispute with Apple. Last November, a U.S. jury in federal court ordered Samsung to pay Apple roughly $290 million in damages. The companies have agreed to a mediation meeting sometime before Feb. 19.